Walkway Receives Grant to Create Strategic Plan to Guide Next Phase of Growth

Friends of the Walkway seek to expand its programming and community engagement activities to meet its vision to become a more inclusive and accessible park that reflects the makeup and values of the communities it serves.

The Friends of the Walkway nonprofit organization has been awarded a $33,740 matching grant from the Environmental Protection Fund’s Park and Trail Partnership Grants program to build a comprehensive strategic plan that will guide the organization for the next five to seven years. The Friends of the Walkway will raise an additional $15,000 in matching funds to complete the project, for a total budget of $48,740.  

Since Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park opened in 2009, Friends of the Walkway’s fundraising efforts have largely centered on building critical park amenities and infrastructure like bathrooms, welcome centers, pavilions, interpretative signage, and lighting. As the Walkway’s era of large-scale capital improvements winds down, the Friends of the Walkway have identified expanding its programming and community engagement activities as a top priority to maximize park’s impact as a resource for residents and as a leading tourist destination in the Hudson Valley.  

“This vital funding from Parks & Trails New York will help us chart the course for how to best create a meaningful experience for the more than 600,000 people that visit the Walkway each year,” said Lori Robertson, Executive Director, Friends of the Walkway. “We look forward to engaging a diverse group of stakeholders over the coming months to form a plan that is inclusive, unifying, and ultimately beneficial to all that step through our gates.” 

The grant is one of 27 awards totaling $1.8 million for organizations dedicated to the stewardship and promotion of New York’s state parks and historic sites, trails, and public lands. The grants will be matched with private and local funding and will support projects to strengthen Friends groups and enhance public access and recreational opportunities.  

The Friends of the Walkway are essential partners helping to maximize the value of Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. The dedicated group raises private funds for capital projects, manages a robust volunteer program, provides educational programming, and promotes public use through hosting special events. To learn more about how individual support can improve the Walkway Over the Hudson and the communities of Poughkeepsie and Highland, visit walkway.org. 

The Park and Trail Partnership Grants are administered by Parks & Trails New York, a statewide non-profit organization, in partnership with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation.  

“Behind many of our favorite outdoor experiences–hikes, picnics with our family, bike rides–there is a hard-working local organization making that experience possible,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director, Parks & Trails New York. “These amazing grassroots organizations do so much with elbow grease, expertise, and volunteerism… but they also need the critical financial assistance our Park and Trail Partnership Grants provide.  We are proud to work with OPHRP to ensure these groups, and the crucial work they do for our public lands, are supported in the benefit they provide for our communities.  We are proud we’ve helped enable what literally amounts to billions of breathtaking experiences every year in our parks, greenway trails and other public lands.  

This year’s cohort of PTPG grant recipients are all pursuing different projects– from trail restoration at Hook Mountain to the installation of an ADA kayak launch at Point au Roche– but they all add up to a healthier, happier New York just in time for the NYS Parks Centennial celebration.”  

To view a list of all Round 9 awardees, please visit: https://www.ptny.org/our-work/support/park-trail-partnership-program/awardees.   More information on Park and Trail Partnership Grants can be found at www.ptny.org or by calling 518-434-1583 x3.